There are things in our life that loom larger than life. Problems that overwhelm us. Tough days when it seems we just can’t do anything right. Weeks, Months, Years when it seems that Lady Luck has left us on her back door step for the trashman. Decades of loneliness, and lifetimes of regret. I think sometimes there are things that are meant to loom larger than life at us, to show us perspective too. Sometimes we have to face down our fears and smack ‘em.
When I first came to Arizona and set up housekeeping, I discovered bugs. Now that does not mean we don’t have bugs in Colorado. It means that in Arizona, where everything grows year round, the bugs were supersized and had an attitude. Now I am a country girl, and not afraid of bugs much, in fact I find some of them quite interesting. But spiders. Now that is something I can live without. Let me clarify that I consider ANYTHING with eight legs to be a spider. This includes spiders, scorpions, and something that the Hispanic population down here calls an Alacran. An Alacran is a strange mixture of spider/scorpion, with claws like a scorpion and an attitude. I met up with one I will call Mr. Big one day in my kitchen. It was not a pretty sight.
He apparently had come in to get a bite of food that my kids had dropped on the kitchen floor. I was just happily be-bopping around the corner from the hall, when I spotted him. Larger than anything I had ever seen. I screamed. I ran.
The neighbors around here are all Arizona natives and find it quite hilarious that I have a habit of doing that. They knew right away that there was a spider in my house as soon as they saw my entire family evacuate the premises in a screaming mass. Then we stood outside looking at each other, like who is gonna go handle this. I saw the neighbors setting up lawn chairs to watch the festivities. They were cracking open some beer and settling back for some entertainment. Huh. Fine. I decided that I WAS GOING TO BE BRAVE. And I took my shoe off to go handle Mr. Big.
I sneaked into the kitchen and eyed him from around the corner. He was busy sitting in the middle of the kitchen. Not doing anything, just sitting. I sneaked up on him and raised my shoe, and about that time, He turned, raised his front loaders (claws, somehow make these things look like a tractor) and ATTACKED. I ran for my life. Out the door with a blood curdling scream. The neighbors clapped, hee hawwed and gave me a 10. It was now my son’s turn. He came in looking around, didn’t see anything and quickly retreated. My daughter just peeked around the corner. They looked at me like, hey you are the parent HANDLE THIS so we can get back to our video games.
I steeled my nerves. Shoe in hand I came in, eyes alert for any movement, hair standing up on the back of my neck. I felt like I was fighting Satan and he was using guerilla warfare and winning. I strained my eyes all around, looking to all sides of me, and finally peeked back in the kitchen. There he was again, just enjoying a snack and kicking back. I raised my shoe, I charged. He raised his claws and charged. I closed my eyes and I smacked him.
Now I want you to know this is not just some ordinary creature here. These things have been known to flatten themselves out so much they can fit in-between the pages of a book and pop up when you open it. Sort of like one of those artsy pop up books. And they can use this dubious talent whenever they choose. Mr. Big chose to utilize his at the moment of impact from my shoe. When I pulled the shoe back, He just popped up like HA! You missed me! And then raised those claws and came after me. Eight-legged freak probably would have taken my shoe away and smacked me with it if he could have. And then he came at me. Running full tilt, all of his big hairy legs running in tandem. But I didn’t run, I just stood my ground. I had armed myself, and I wasn’t giving up. I smacked him again with the shoe. He did the pop up thing. Again.
I went into a frenzy then. I ran to the kitchen sink grabbed the Raid and began to spray. He just laughed (if spiders laugh) and chased me all around the kitchen. I ran to my room for a boot. This was it. Now I was fighting for my life, and I was determined not to lose. He raised his claws, glared at me with those thousand eyes, and charged. Only I was smarter this time. I hit him so hard it sent him flying through the air out into the hall way and skidding across the floor back into the kitchen. Then I chased him down. I must have smacked that thing a hundred times, the entire time crying hysterical tears, until my oldest son came in and said, “ Mom. I think he is dead, you can quit now.” And then I collapsed in a heap and cried real tears.
I looked at Mr. Big. Real hard, cause you can never be sure with an enemy that large and aggressive that they won’t somehow resurrect and come after you again. What I saw, although gross, was amazing. He was all of three and a half inches long. I was 5’6”. I must have scared him to death. The shoe had nothing to do with it, after all.
Like I said, sometimes we have problems, heartache, loneliness that just loom larger than life. If we are courageous and take a stand, we can face down these problems, and live to tell about it. Had I backed down from Mr. Big, we would be living elsewhere, and he would be bigger than real life by now. But I didn’t. I faced my fear, head on with a shoe.
In all fairness, I have to say, had God not been with me, I would be not living here, in Arizona, in this house. It would have long ago been taken over by spiders, and I would long ago have moved somewhere a little more bug free. But this is the key to my story. God IS always with me. Holding my hand, comforting me, and telling me that if I need to, go get a bigger shoe.